As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. (Luke 10:38-40)
Yesterday, we discussed about how Mary chose to sit with Jesus while her sister sweated it out in the kitchen.
She refused to sacrifice her time with the Messiah by getting caught up in worldly expectations. Mary challenged us to examine our priorities during the holidays.
If you missed Monday’s post, you can read it here.
Today we’re going to see things from her older sister’s perspective. Martha offers a different approach to the Christmas season because unlike her sister… she worked her tail off.
Being the oldest… Martha had the irritating tendency to take control.
If there was a job to be done, she was your (wo)man.
This sister could multi-task with the best of ‘em.
Martha wanted everyone to relax and enjoy their time in her home.
With all that needs to be accomplished at Christmas time, we need Martha’s. They play a vital role in making it all come together. And without them… we’d be in quite a pickle.
- No presents would be under the tree…
- The house would be empty of yummy treats to munch on…
- Visiting family would sleep on dirty sheets…
- The tree would be barren…
- The family Christmas letter wouldn’t happen…
Without a doubt – I’m a Martha.
Chances are you’re one, too.
We make sure the family is fed, the bills are paid, the house is presentable, the trash is taken out, and the homework is done.
But… we have to be careful.
Why? Because unlike Mary, as Martha’s we can struggle with missing the heart of the holidays.
We become so engrossed in tackling our “to-do” lists, that we lose sight of why we’re even celebrating the season. In our minds, we don’t have the time to just sit and celebrate Jesus.
- We work behind the scenes to make everyone else comfortable.
- We don’t seize the moment to sit with Jesus, because we have laundry to fold.
- We miss experiencing Christ, because we need to go to Wal-Mart.
As Martha’s, we must be intentional in engaging our heart…. because while our brains and our hands are fully awake and on task… our hearts may be asleep.
And if our hearts are asleep, we’re gonna miss the joy of Christmas.
Am I describing you?
Let’s check. You might be a Martha if…
- You are already looking forward to the ball dropping in Times Square signifying the end of 2012.
- You suggest skipping church because your ankles are swollen from shopping.
- The employees at the grocery store know your name.
- You have a VIP parking spot at Target (actually that would be kinda cool).
- Hallmark wants to hire you for your wrapping skills.
Well, back to the story. Our girl Martha was getting angry with Mary’s decision to abandon her hospitality duties, and so she marched right up to Jesus in her frustration.
… She tattled on her younger sister, hoping for sympathy.
But listen to Jesus’ response.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
Hear this, sweet
Marthas friends. Jesus wasn’t blaming Martha’s efforts to make her guests comfortable. He was only asking her to examine her priorities.
While Jesus was in her living room… Martha was in her kitchen.
She was missing it.
Martha (yes, I am speaking to you)…
Remember to keep your heart in what you are doing this season.
Make sure your priorities are in the right order.
Be intentional about engaging your heart, because in our craziness… we can miss the reason for the season.
And ask yourself: Am I celebrating Jesus like… Martha?
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